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Updated: 6 days ago

When I was born, they were happy,

They distributed sweets and threw a party.

They were told that their joy

Was as if they had a boy.

As I grew up, I was taught

A little of what to do, and a lot of what not.

I wasn’t allowed to laugh out loud,

I was told not to play with boys,

I wasn’t allowed to wear short clothes

I had to protect myself from roving eyes.

Cover Photo by Santhosh Korada

I was barely six,

But people’s minds can fairly be sick.

Six became sixteen only too soon,

Over the years their fears had only grown.

“The world is a terrible place,” they said,

“Zip up your talkative mouth and lower your audacious head.”

“Stay away from boys because you might get attracted,

And that is obviously not the natural course of things intended.”

“All your self-respect lies in your virginity, so keep it protected

Until we tell you to lose it and have offspring with our blessings."

“Return home by eight.” they often instructed

“Nine, please?” I pleaded.

“No, nine is too late.”

“That neckline is too low!”

“That hemline is too high!”

“There are rules for you set by our society,

Dare not defy.”

But I did,

And I couldn’t be happier about it.

The rapists and our society have the same thought -

They want to dictate what we ought to do, and what not.

If we disobey them, they will punish us in their own ways,

If we’re women with minds of our own, we’re a disgrace.

Today, we, as women, choose to be disgraceful.

We choose to be disrespectful.

We choose to make our choices.

We choose to have our voices.

We choose to be heard,

Our every word

Will echo till you understand.

We’re not asking anymore, we’re making no demands,

We’re seizing what’s ours

Our freedom is in our own hands.

And when we give birth to baby girls or boys,

When we become mothers,

We will not compare our joy,

Because one will not be seen as any lesser than the other.



This contribution is photographed by Santhosh Korada & acted by Nikhila Kotni.



This poem is available in paperback & ebook.

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Nov 15, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

This poem is a voice of many girls like me who never expressed what they went through. Amazing. Please write more, looking forward to read more from you.

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